Oxford Executive MBA: September 2020 delivery

Important information for those considering starting the EMBA programme in September 2020

With government guidelines continuing to evolve here in the UK and further afield, we have been working to determine how we can safely deliver the Oxford EMBA from September in a way that is in keeping with the unique experience that comes from joining our institution.

The September 2020 (S20) EMBA cohort will be, as with previous cohorts, very diverse with students coming from over 25 countries. Given the different travel and quarantine regulations in each country and the dynamic of how they and the overall situation are developing, we have decided to start the S20 EMBA cohort online for the first four modules. We have done so with the aim to provide planning security in this fluid environment and to offer a level playing field for all students at the start of their EMBA journey.

Digital learning

Our faculty have come together to innovate, developing an enhanced digital learning experience for you that reflects the new circumstances we all face. The method of delivery is changed for the first four modules, but the content, quality, and qualification remains the same. A substantial portion of the first four modules will be delivered live synchronously online during module times, considering the different time zones, so that classes can be taught together. This is complemented by an asynchronous digital learning experience between modules, to provide opportunities for students which allow greater flexibility if needed or preferred. Sessions and plenaries will be recorded for your reference. Resources will be available through our LMS (Learning Management System) which we have made further investment in for this purpose.

All core reading can be accessed online, as well hard copies being delivered to you. We will support your preparation by keeping in touch with you ahead of your start date, providing more guidance in virtual environments, making an early introduction to your dedicated Programme Manager and providing you with a welcome package. 

We are conscious of the need to faciltate team-building and these activities will be spread over the first three modules using an enhanced structure which will give you the chance to speak to everyone in your cohort. Study groups will continue to be heterogeneous, and deliberately not time-zoned based, to preserve the diversity of discussion. 

We are announcing now so that you can make your plans with certainty and with the knowledge that your safety is paramount. 


In addition to your academic courses, we are aware of the importance of all the co-curricular, career development and networking activities that are part of your EMBA experience. Our teams are fully focussed on how to deliver these to you; please be assured that we expect to maintain our co-curricular programming, and will undoubtedly have new offerings that reflect the change we are all going through. 

In-person teaching

We are looking forward to welcoming you in person from March 2021 onwards. Our priority is the safety of our community and we are making extensive plans to prepare the School to accommodate any health-related requirements, all the while anticipating the need to respond and adapt as the situation evolves including assessing an earlier welcome in person if possible. We are fully committed to your learning and making sure you feel part of our community.

Additional online content

We are delighted to introduce the 'EMBA Insights series' to all current EMBA cohorts. This is a weekly online 60-90 minute talk and discussion by a faculty member or an external speaker. They are sharing their insights and experience with students and leading discussions on crisis-related themes or other topics of interest. We also accept requests for faculty you would especially like to hear from. 

We are also offering optional sessions before the programme starts, such as study skills workshops.

Admissions process continues

The admissions process is continuing without delays. We are committed to supporting you by answering any questions you may have. The final deadline to join this cohort is Friday 31 JulyIf your application is successful, you will be part of the University of Oxford, joining a community that is committed to preparing future leaders to meet the complex challenges we face across the globe.

Advice for September 2020 students


Will I still matriculate?

Yes, you will matriculate in-absentia at the usual time in September. You will not miss out on the ceremony, as you will later be invited to an in-person welcome ceremony to mark your earlier matriculation. This is scheduled to be held in Convocation House and the Divinity School in Oxford, as per tradition, in April 2021.

Will the international modules take place?

At present, the plan is that they will take place. The expectation is that the September 2020 cohort will meet for their international module in India, which falls 21-26 March 2021. A view will be taken in December to allow you to make travel arrangements. Of course we understand for some this may not be possible should there be new travel restrictions in their home country. Therefore, at that time, an option will be available to those needing to complete the course and we will discuss this with you personally. If it transpires that it is not possible to hold this in India as intended, academic content will be delivered online or in person in Oxford and a study trip to India featuring the experiential part of the course in-person will be rescheduled to a later date.


Will there be any changes to course fees?

Our aim is to ensure that students are able to take advantage of our world class academic teaching and meet the educational objectives of each programme. As such, all course fees and funding arrangements will remain unchanged.

We are focusing on supporting students and delivering our programmes of study within the constraints of current circumstances. Whilst we appreciate that this will mean that they are not delivered in the same manner as previous years, the provision and resources that we are working to make available should mean our educational objectives for our programmes are met. For these reasons it is not appropriate for course fees to be waived.

The current circumstances are exceptional and well beyond our control, yet University staff are working strenuously to ensure our high-quality teaching, assessments and examinations, go ahead while minimising impacts for students. Other University services (e.g. student welfare, careers support) will continue to be provided even though staff are working remotely.


How have you already delivered the programme online and facilitated interaction between students?

We have experience of this delivery format, as current EMBA students have been taught online since March, when lockdowns began across the globe. Investment has and is being made in this area. Additional content has been made available to current students and they will have the opportunity to be involved in future sessions; for example, auditing classes and attending rescheduled international modules at a later date. A reunion will also be organised in Oxford. We recognise that peer-to-peer interaction and availability of the myriad resources across the entire University are important parts of your Oxford experience so this is being facilitated wherever possible. It is also worth noting that the EMBA is a programme of 22-24 months, so there is plenty of time to access those elements in-person after the four online modules. More than that, it is a life-long investment to be connected to the University and join this global network. 

What has been the recent experience for current students?

A number of the current students have written blog posts describing their experience, which we encourage you to read.

If you have any questions about the Executive MBA programme, your regional Recruitment Manager will be happy to help.

Contact us